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NOSTER Kick-Off 2020

NOSTER hopes to welcome ReMA students and PhD candidates in Fletcher Parkhotel Val Monte in Berg en Dal near Nijmegen for the Kick-Off 2020, provided of course circumstances allow it. This meeting at the start of the academic years aims to broaden your horizon with regard to research methods used in the fields of theology and religion, and to foster the community of starting scholars. Anticipating the possibility of new travel restrictions, starting and closing times are based on avoiding public transport peak hours. Social distancing measures will be applied at all times. In contrast to previous years and due to rescheduling the workshops planned for the Spring Conference, Research Seminars will not gather on this day.

Provisional programme
13.00 – Coffee/tea and welcome
13.30 – Plenary session part 1 (see below)
15.00 – Break
15.15 – Plenary session part 2 (see below)
16.30 – Workshops (see below)
18.30-20.00 – Supper

Plenary panel session
The COVID-19 crisis affects all of us. At this Kick-Off, we will explore the dynamics of meaning making in times of crisis. During a panel session, Professor dr. Kees de Groot (TiU) and Professor dr. Hans Schilderman (RU) will introduce their current research, respectively into the reception of governmental existential narratives about COVID-19 in Dutch society and on the wellbeing and sense of purpose among staff and students at Radboud University during this crisis. Which methods do their disciplines offer to address these questions? In the second part of the plenary session, we will explore the meaning of the concept of ‘crisis’ from various disciplines and perspectives. The aim is not only to come to a more advanced understanding of the concept or phenomenon of crisis, but also to discover the value of different disciplines and perspectives and the possibilities and limits of combining these.Learning goals: Participants are able to
– give examples of research methods available to study topical issues
– discuss the possibilities and limitations of these methods
Preparation: Please fill in the NOSTER Preparation, Reflection and Assessment Form directly below the registration button. This form includes a small preparatory assignment for the plenary session.

We are delighted to offer on this day the workshops that were originally scheduled for the Spring Conference 2020! You can register for one of the following items:


/ Professor Dr. Koert van Bekkum (TUK/ETF)
A good abstract is a ticket to delivering a paper, receiving feedback from peers/seniors and developing valuable contacts. But how do you write such an abstract? This workshop deals with the abstract as a form of communication. The workshop will help you to clearly summarise your research and to find a good balance between the various elements required or involved. It also practices choosing the right language register and shortening an abstract that is too long.
Learning goals: Participants are able to write a proper abstract in response to a call-for-papers.
Preparation: Submit in advance a Call for Papers and an abstract in response to that call (preferably by yourself). Please send this to before 17 September 2020.

/ Dr. Anna Tijsseling (Academic Authenticity)
When working on a large research project (such as a or PhD or research master thesis) most of us encounter periods of struggle and stress. Though we could choose for supporting thoughts and self-empathy during these times, somehow most people simply deal with a negativity bias. My working hypothesis is that when we suffer as highly intelligent and sensitive human beings, we suffer most from self-criticism, our internal dialogue.
If self-defeating dynamics go undetected and uncared for, chances are that you are to a certain extent at war with yourself. Instead of enjoying your (work) life, those thoughts easily help you spiral into negative thinking: “Why bother? You’ll mess up anyway,” or, “Who do you think you are to do this (project)?” In this workshop, we’ll address our internal landscape both creatively and with a sense of humour. You’ll leave the workshop with a map of your internal landscape and enhanced skills for practising self-empathy. By participating in this workshop, you will be invited to step off the battleground for a couple of hours, and really value all of the voices speaking to you internally, even the most judgmental ones. What do they have to say? And what can you do to start nurturing a more empathic internal dialogue immediately?
Learning goals:
– Raising awareness of repetitive self-defeating internal dynamics
– Enhancing your skills in nurturing self-empathy
– Transitioning from re-actions (automatic responses) to actions
Preparation: light assignment, apr. 1 hour, see the form below the ‘register’ button

Place: Fletcher Parkhotel Val Monte, Oude Holleweg 5, 6572 AA Berg en Dal (near Nijmegen). We will resort to e-conferencing again, should meeting on-site prove impossible.
Credits and workload: 0.5 EC / 14 hours
Participation and registration: If you wish to participate in this event, you will need to register before 18 September 2020. Once you have created a personal account on this website and have logged in, you can register for this event by clicking the green ‘Register for this item’ button on the right. Please note that if due to unforeseen circumstances you are unable to attend, please inform the NOSTER office as soon as possible and before 18 September 2020 at the latest. If you fail to notify the NOSTER office of a cancellation you will be charged €70.
Costs: Participation is free for ReMA students and PhD candidates registered at NOSTER or any other research school in the Humanities. The cost to other ReMA students and PhD candidates is €70. For more information about membership and costs, click here (for ReMA students) or here (for PhD candidates).


  • 25 Sep 2020 13:00 20:00


Oude Holleweg 5, 6572 AA Berg en Dal
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